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Quick Service Guide 230a

Discount Letters, Cards, Flats, and Parcels

First-Class Mail Move Update Standard

May 2007
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Related QSG

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507d, Ancillary Service Endorsements


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The Move Update standard is a means of reducing the number of mailpieces in a mailing that require forwarding or return by periodic matching of a mailer's address records with customer-filed change-of-address orders received and maintained by the Postal Service. Mailers who claim presorted or automation rates for First-Class Mail must demonstrate that they have updated their mailing list within 185 days before the mailing date. The Postal Service offers four preapproved methods: Address Change Service (ACS), National Change of Address Linkage System (NCOALink), FASTforward, and ancillary service endorsements except for Forwarding Service Requested. Alternative methods that require separate approval also are offered. Mailers must use one of the preapproved or alternative methods to meet the Move Update standard.

Address Change Service (507.3.2)

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Address Change Service (ACS) is an electronic enhancement to traditional, manual methods of providing change-of-address (COA) information to mailers. The system is designed to reduce the volume of manual (printed) address-correction notifications handled by both the Postal Service and mailers and to centralize and automate the provision of address correction information to mailers. Mailers add a unique mailer identification code to the address area of their mailpieces to identify them as ACS participants.

ACS may be used on any class of mail to qualify the addresses in a mailing list that is also used for First-Class mailings. First-Class mailers who are ACS participants may use the ancillary service endorsement "Change Service Requested" to receive an electronic notice of the change-of-address information and prevent the mailpiece from being forwarded to the new address or returned to the sender. Electronic notices can be obtained on a variety of electronic media.

Per electronic notice (or manual notice for electronic option customers) issued:

  • First-Class Mail—$0.06
  • Other than First-Class Mail—$0.25

Per automated notice issued:

  • First-Class Mail letters (first two notices)—$0.00
  • First-Class Mail letters (per additional notice)—$0.05
  • Standard Mail letters (first two notices)—$0.02
  • Standard Mail letters (per additional notice)—$0.15

A mailer may determine the frequency with which to use an ancillary endorsement and ACS participant code, as long as the mailer can certify that each address in a First-Class mailing has been updated for customer moves within 185 days before the mailing date.

ACS is available for First-Class Mail, Periodicals, and Standard Mail. ACS is available monthly, weekly, or more frequently, depending on the needs and ACS volume of the mailer. ACS via electronic notification is not available from all post offices.

See example of an ACS code in Quick Service Guide 708, Optional Information Lines.


  • ACS provides significant cost-saving benefits to mailers and the Postal Service.
  • ACS participants can use electronically generated address correction information to update their mailing lists more easily and in a more timely manner.

National Change of Address Linkage System (Letters 233.3.5 Flats 333.3.5 Parcels 433.3.4)

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National Change of Address Linkage System (NCOALink) is an address correction service provided to mailers through companies licensed by the Postal Service. Updated change-of-address information for the entire country is provided on a regular basis to the licensees by the Postal Service. The licensees match mailing lists submitted to them by mailers on tape or disk against the computerized information. If a match is made, NCOALink can correct the address before it is printed.


  • Reduces undeliverable mail by providing the most current address information, including standardized and delivery point coded addresses, for matches made to the NCOALink file for individual, family, and business moves.
  • Prevents remailings after address corrections are received because the address correction is applied prior to the mailing.
  • Reduces mailer costs by reducing the number of undeliverable mailpieces.
  • Provides faster product/service marketing through accurate mail delivery.

For more information about NCOALink, including a list of licensees, see Postal Explorer ( > Address Quality > Address Management Services > Move Update > NCOA Link Systems.

FASTforward (507.3.3)

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The FASTforward system consists of a Postal Service-owned and user-licensed computer system containing FASTforward name- and address-matching software and a change-of-address database. The FASTforward database is updated weekly.

FASTforward is available in two distinct versions.

Multiline optical character readers (MLOCRs) - Licensed FASTforward MLOCR users must obtain an approved interface from their MLOCR vendors.

For a list of FASTforward licensees, see Postal Explorer ( > Address Quality > Address Management Services > Move Update > FASTforward > Licensees.

Benefits: When FASTforward is used in conjunction with either MLOCR (and/or RVE) processing or mailing-list correction services, mailpieces avoid the delays associated with traditional mail forwarding.

Ancillary Service Endorsements (507.1.5)

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Any mailer may use one of the four ancillary service endorsements below to request a printed notification of the addressee's new address and provide the Postal Service with instruction on how to handle undeliverable-as-addressed mail.

Mailers may use the following endorsements with First-Class Mail service to initiate this updating method:

Address Service Requested: The mailpiece is forwarded to the new location when possible and a printed notice is returned to the mailer with the new address information. This notice is then used by the mailer to update the address list.

  • Months 1-12: the mailpiece is forwarded at no charge; the mailer is provided a separate notice of new address and charged an address correction fee (manual $0.50, electronic, see page one).
  • Months 13-18: the mailpiece is returned with the new address attached at no charge.
  • After month 18 or if undeliverable at any time: the mailpiece is returned with reason for nondelivery attached at no charge.

Return Service Requested: The mailpiece is returned with the new address information affixed. No forwarding service is provided. This service is provided with First-Class Mail at no charge. The mailer then updates the address information in the file and may mail a new piece to the new address.

Change Service Requested: A separate notice of new address or reason for nondelivery is provided (in either case, an electronic address correction fee is charged); the mailpiece is disposed of by USPS. This endorsement is available only when used in conjunction with electronic Address Change Service.

Temp-Return Service Requested: The mailpiece is returned with the new address or reason for nondelivery attached. If this is a temporary change of address, the piece is forwarded; no separate notice of new temporary change-of-address is provided.

For an address to meet the Move Update requirement, the mailer must send at least one letter or card to the address with an approved ancillary service endorsement within 185 days before reuse of the address in a First-Class discounted mailing. To complete the Move Update process, the mailer must make the address changes received as a result of the use of the approved ancillary service endorsement. It is recommended that mailers retain address correction records for up to two years.

Benefits: Ancillary service endorsements allow the sender to obtain, on request, the addressee's new (forwarding) address (if the addressee filed a change-of-address order with the Postal Service) or the reason for nondelivery. These endorsements also provide the Postal Service with instructions for the disposition of undeliverable-as-addressed mail.

Alternative Methods (Letter 233.3.3 Flats 333.3.3 Parcels 433.3.4)

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Mailer Move Update Process Certification and USPS-approved alternative methods for mailers with legitimate restrictions on incorporating USPS-supplied change-of-address information into their mailing lists. The National Customer Support Center administers and approves both Mailer Move Update Process Certification and alternative methods.

Additional Information

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Phone: National Customer Support Center (NCSC) at (800) 238-3150.

Internet: Postal Explorer ( > Address Quality > Address Management Services > Move Update.


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